Hello, this is Dr. Lucy Smith and I am taking over as Project Archivist on ‘From ‘A Penny in the Pound’ to ‘Free at the Point of Delivery’. My first task on joining the project was to work with records relating to hospitals in Newport and Caerphilly. These include some intriguing war-time registers from the Royal Gwent and St. Woolos hospitals.
In the Second World War, St Woolos Hospital, then known as Woolaston House, was used for Emergency Medical Services, official hospitals set up to cater for injured military personnel.
This Admission register shows that on August 8th 1944, the hospital admitted 83 new patients who had been injured in the D-Day landings. After 1944, Woolaston House also treated both German and Italian POWs from camps at Llanmartin and Llantarnam.
Gwent Archives: EMS Admission Register, August 1944 showing intake of wounded soldiers from the D-Day landings. Ranks, regiments and ages are given.
Gwent Archives: EMS Admissions Register May – June 1945, showing an Italian POW was admitted just before a British Ex-POW returning from a camp abroad. Other patients include members of the Polish army and a 31 year-old woman from the ATS.
Gwent Archives also holds wartime records from the Royal Gwent Hospital. These casualty admission slips show the occupations and injuries of a diverse range of patients who were brought to Newport by the upheaval of war. Interestingly, in these pre-NHS records, patients must give an ‘approved society’ to pay for medical treatment.
Gwent Archives: Royal Gwent Hospital Casualty Admission Register 1942, showing American servicemen, a land girl, a Polish engineer, and industrial workers including a cutter, a roller from Lysaght’s works, and a female machinist.
These wartime registers are not only evidence of medical history but also document changes in society and the international movement of people through Newport during the war period.